Miami Art Walk Guide: Animals Are Outside Today, etc.

By | June 9th, 2011 | No Comments

Second Saturday Art Walk is on … Saturday, and as usual there’s a lot going on. Here are five exhibitions that caught my eye.

1. Noise Field @ Dorsch Gallery

Curated by Miami-based writer and dance/visual arts performer Annie Hollingsworth, Noise Field will examine “where language patterns begin to form or where, conversely, they dissolve into nonsense” through the work of some great local artists and promising talent from abroad (including London-based word maniac Sam Winston). “In this in-between place, language has an unsettling vertigo effect,” Dorsch explains on its website. “Dreamlike logic rules and nightmare characters are born.” I’m certainly intrigued, particularly with the exhibition’s exploration of how “words fall apart and images get caught between old and new media.”

Hollingsworth’s first show at Dorsch, Noise Field will feature the works of Raphael Lyon, Ruben Millares, Martin Murphy, Kylin O’Brien, Odalis Valdivieso, Antonia Wright, and Winston. Learn more about the exhibition on Dorsch’s website.

I Scream, Therefore I Exist
I scream, therefore I exist (2011; video still)

2. Merzbau-Now @ Fredric Snitzer Gallery

First you need to know who Kurt Schwitters is. An excerpt from Snitzer’s website:

A pioneering artist in the spheres of collage, sculpture, architecture and installation, Schwitters … set the tone for the avant-garde. At a young age in war torn Germany, Schwitters stylistically evolved through genres such as Expressionism, Dada, Constructivism, and European Avant-garde to ultimately generate his signature modus operandi, Merz. Designed as a distinctly Schwitters architectural assemblage, his transformative installation known as Merzbau is recognized today as one of the most riveting artworks of the early 20th century. Unfortunately, the Merzbau was bombed and destroyed in 1943 during WWII.

Nearly seven decades later, Snitzer is “modestly” taking up the task of paying homage to an artist whose “profound impact on art history is rarely given just recognition,” according to the exhibition description. Featuring some of Snitzer’s biggest names — Bert Rodriguez among them — Merzbau-Now presents the gallery’s art stars with a hefty challenge. I’ll admit: I’m walking in a skeptic.

Learn more about the exhibition on

3. Mayami Son Machín @ Gallery Diet

Put together by Guatemalan art space Proyectos Ultravioleta, this exhibit’s summary on the Gallery Diet website didn’t catch me right away. An excerpt:

Mayami Son Machín is an exhibition which aims to explore common preconceptions about Latin American identity as seen through a fantasized place called Mayami, a city cloaked in a mystic haze of glory and glamour. The title of the exhibition is derived from The Miami Sound Machine, a 90’s era music group, which epitomized the notion of what it means to be latino living in Miami.

But then I skimmed the list of participating artists and ran into Rita Indiana y los Misterios and Noelia Quintero. Ever since I saw/heard this music video about a year ago, I’ve been absolutely hooked.

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Miami Art Walk Guide: Myakka, Cowboy Mouth, Cha . . .

By | May 12th, 2011 | 1 Comment

As on the second saturday of every month, thousands of Miamians will converge on Wynwood and the Design District this Saturday to get their fill of art they can’t afford and to fill up on all-too-affordable fish tacos. Here’s a list of five shan’t miss exhibits/performances to help you plan your Art Walk. Feel free to add to it in the comment section.

1. Series 5 by Marcos Vallela @ Dimensions Variable

Perhaps Miami’s best painter — at least the city’s foremost painters’ painter — Marcos Vallela is taking over Dimensions Variable throughout May and June. Although a takeover makes it sound as if Vallela is going to drastically alter the space, on the contrary, his subtle, washed out, gesso-covered canvases will seemingly blend into the walls (see below). While his brand of minimal, conceptualist painting isn’t for everyone (four of his paintings were vandalized at Arte Americas in March), they are certainly worth a close look.

Learn more about Series 5 on Dimensions Variable’s website.

2. Intuitive Collaborative Dance Performance with Matthew Ronay and Nathan Carter @ Locust Projects

Brooklyn-based artists Matthew Ronay and Nathan Carter will present a dance performance and didgeridoo revue specifically devised for Locust Projects that, with its obscure references and influences, promises to go over plenty of heads. To be honest, this seems like it’s going to be a train wreck, but as with any collision one can’t help but stare. Performances will be ongoing throughout Saturday night.

Learn more about the performance on Locust Project’s website.

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Top Five Art Events in May

By | May 2nd, 2011 | 1 Comment

1. New Methods Symposium @ MoCA (May 4 – 6)

If I could clear out any three days for art this month, it would be for MoCa’s examination of the practices of leading contemporary arts organizations in Latin America. With the vast perspective it promises to provide visitors, New Methods could be ever-present MoCA Associate Curator Ruba Katrib’s most important contribution to the South Florida arts community yet. Learn more HERE.

2. Contemporary Artistic Production Talks @ 801 Projects (May 4 and May 11; 7 p.m. – 9 pm)

For the serious art lover, the final two talks in this series will delve into contemporary artistic production and the institutional systems of art. These lectures seem tailor-made for practicing artists such as myself, out of school, who are still finding it difficult to navigate the rough waters of the contemporary art world. Conducted by art critic and independent curator, José Antonio Navarrete, each Spanish-language lecture is two hours, followed by a bit of Q & A. Learn more HERE.

3. Dialect: Image is Everything @ Brew Urban Cafe (Thursday, May 12; 8:30 – 12:30)

Presented solely by Fort Lauderdale talent, Dialect is put together every month by DJ collective Twilight Notes, Brew Urban Cafe, and (as of lately) Freedom Art, the design moniker of artist/designer Jose Lopez. Image Is Everything, their first strictly photographic exhibition, will feature photographs by well established professionals as well as emerging locals working in the regionally popular (and ever-growing) medium: Vionette Torres, Daniel Lateulade, Kara Lynn, Janelle Proulx, David Lloyd, Ben Coppelman, Nate Dodd, Danny Hammontree, and Sam Robies. Besides the art on the walls, there’ll be great music, presenting the perfect opportunity to meet and catch-up with many of Fort Lauderdale’s most creative young people.

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Top Five Art Events in April

By | March 31st, 2011 | 2 Comments

NB: The following list does not include any O, Miami events because, frankly, the festival deserves its own list. Check out and our O, Miami coverage to see for yourself.

1. Domingo Castillo and Ragnar Kjartansson @ MoCA (ongoing)

Heading into their first full month, MoCA’s two current shows — At Capacity and Open Process — aren’t all they’re touted to be. But between them, the exhibitions feature two of the most compelling works I’ve seen in a long time. Miami’s own Domingo Castillo presents a site-specific piece that is filled with other artists’ work, a research library and installation that is both obvious and brilliant. Ragnar Kjartansson’s video/performance/installation at the opposite end of the museum is nothing short of breathtaking, a 30-minute video that gave me goosebumps. Learn more HERE.

2. The Wilderness @ Miami Art Museum (ongoing)

I went to the opening of The Wilderness, a group exhibition of film and sculptural exhibitions “exploring the real or imagined boundaries between tamed and untamed nature”, and I plan to see it again. It is a carefully curated journey well worth taking twice. Learn more HERE.

3. LegalArt’s – Private Eye at The Residency (April 7)

LegalArt is eight years old and this, their inaugural event, promises to draw all of Miami’s art world, including artists-in-residence Daniel Arsham, TM Sisters, Agustina Woodgate, Loriel Beltram, Pachi Giustinian, Manny Prieres, Carlos Ascurra (Viking Funeral), Jiae Hwang, Laura Hita, and Alfio Demestre. Learn more HERE.

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March Art Walk Top Ten Exhibitions, Galleries

By | March 8th, 2011 | 3 Comments

Miami's ever-growing number of Art Walkers are in for a lot of good work this Saturday.

I originally planned to put together a Top Five list for this month’s Second Saturday Art Walk, but in the end I came across too many can’t-miss exhibitions — a very good, very rare surprise. With Art Walk’s crowds ballooning as of late, it seems Miami’s galleries are rising to the occasion. This weekend, they will prove that the sometimes-staid medium of photography is alive and well in the Magic City, with at least four must-see photo shows opening up in Wynwood. On top of that, there will be plenty of performance art (some of which provided by yours truly), installations, and good-old-fashioned painting to satisfy both the avant-garde and the traditionalist.

1. (Thanks, But I’m) Just Looking by Peggy Levison Nolan @ Dina Mitrani Gallery

You can recognize one of Peggy Nolan’s photos almost instantly. Her aggrandizement of the everyday is unmistakably her, as she is unmistakably a treasure of the Miami arts community (just ask any former FIU student). Continuing her search for beauty and poetry in life’s ordinariness, (Thanks, But I’m) Just Looking will feature various photographic formats illustrating Nolan’s almost obsessive observation of her daily surroundings. Learn more about the exhibition HERE.

2. You Are Always Here by Catalina Jaramillo @ Dimensions Variable

Catalina Jaramillo has been exploring “the universal notions of transience, loss, grief, oneness, and impermanence” through performance and installation works for years now, and with a renewed vigor in the past year. Her project for Dimensions Variable seems like a culmination of sorts for the artist, combining many aspects of her recent work, including performance as attempt to deal with the death of her mother: “In reviving the memory of her departed mother, the artist will go through a series of rituals that serve as bereavement vehicles in many cultures.” I’m tearing up already. Learn more about the exhibition HERE.

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Top Seven Arts Events in March

By | March 1st, 2011 | No Comments

Misael Soto is a South Florida artist who works at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood and blogs at Art. Music. Film. Whatever.

The Body is Present by Psychic Youth, Inc. @ Arsht Center (March 4 and 5; 7 pm)

Directed and choreographed by Ana Mendez in collaboration with fellow Psychic Youth, Inc. members Federico Nessi and Richard Vergez, The Body is Present is an homage to Cuban-American artist Ana Mendieta. The 20-minute performance focuses on the seminal artist’s untimely death, after falling 34 stories from an NYC apartment building in 1985. As told through a dream, the performance will explore the mysteries of Mendieta’s death, weaving together the euphoria of falling and the theme of violence explored in her work. After their amazing performance at MAM this past summer (also lead by Mendez), will Psychic Youth triumph again? I’ll put my money on it. Learn more HERE.

Second Saturday Art Walk @ Wynwood and Design District (March 12; all evening)

As is the norm this time of year, Miami’s galleries should all have something new to look at and the streets will be filled with crowds and crowd-pleasers alike. And be on the look out for a special participatory performance on the sidewalks of Wynwood by yours truly. See photos from Miami Art Walks past HERE.

Dominic Molon @ the De La Cruz Collection (March 18; 7 p.m.)

The chief curator at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis will give a lecture focusing on the challenges and virtues of promoting cutting-edge art in the heart of the American Midwest. Molon is more than qualified to give a few helpful pointers to South Florida’s art directors and curators. Learn more HERE.

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Saturday Night’s Art Dilemma

By | February 9th, 2011 | 2 Comments
Eiko and Koma

A studio shot from Raven, Eiko and Koma's three-year retrospective.

At times, keeping up with the arts in Miami can be overwhelming (e.g., Art Basel). Other times, there’s little for an art lover to do but wash his paint brushes. If “feast or famine” is the most accurate description, one could call this coming Saturday night a buffet, with South Florida serving up an enticing menu of modern dance, indie rock, and the visual arts.

Japanese dance duo Eiko and Koma will be performing their second and final Tigertail Productions performance of Raven at the Colony Theatre on Lincoln Road. Across the bay, Wynwood and Design District galleries will open their doors to one and all for February’s Second Saturday Artwalk. And up in Fort Lauderdale, indie-rock collective Broken Social Scene will blow the paint off the walls at Revolution Live. (Check out our interview with BSS founding member Brendan Canning.)

It’s impossible to do it all!

If you’re hoping to simplify things by catching Eiko and Koma’s first performance, on Friday, be careful: You’d have to miss out on Christo’s lecture at FIU, where the living art-world legend will be discussing two upcoming projects, Over The River and The Mastaba. I, for one, cannot miss Christo (an inspiration of mine since college), so the Saturday dilemma persists.

Having too many amazing art events to choose from is definitely a good problem to have, but choosing isn’t easy. What to do?

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Top Ten Miami Arts Events in February

By | February 1st, 2011 | 1 Comment

1. Art in Germany lecture by Bonnie Clearwater @ MOCA NoMi (February 2, 7 p.m.)

In the first of two “Contemporary Art Boot Camp” lectures on the subject, Clearwater, MOCA’s director and chief curator, will focus on German art between 1960 and 1990. RSVP required. Learn more HERE.

2. southXeast: Contemporary Southeastern Art @ FAU’s Schmidt Center and Ritter galleries (opens February 4)

The FAU galleries will be presenting 13 artists from seven southeastern states, including Miami’s own Beatriz Monteavaro, as part of the third iteration of this juried show. The opening reception includes a panel presentation where several artists from the exhibition will speak and a performance by Louisiana-based artist Stephanie Patton as Renella Rose Champagne, a romantic alter-ego the artist has assumed for 18 years. southXeast promises to breathe new life into the local arts scene as few of the artists in the exhibition have shown in South Florida (despite many of them having shown elsewhere in the country and internationally). Learn more about the show HERE.

3. Christo @ the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum (February 11, 2011)

In its ongoing lecture series, the Frost presents canonical environmental/land artist — and personal hero of mine — Christo, one half of the historic artist duo that also includes Jeanne-Claude. Christo returns to the setting of one of his most famous works, 1983’s Surrounded Islands, for which he surrounded 11 islands in Biscayne Bay with floating pink woven polypropylene fabric. Christo will be talking about two upcoming projects, Over The River and The Mastaba. This is absolutely not to be missed! (While you’re at the Frost, check out Gran Torino: Italian Contemporary Art.) Learn more about the event HERE.

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Top Five Second Saturday Art Walk Shows for January

By | January 6th, 2011 | 2 Comments

With the Second Saturday Art Walk two days away, we asked South Florida artist and Art. Music. Film. Whatever. blogger Misael Soto to compile a list of five must-see shows.

1. The Outer Limits – Felice Grodin and Samantha Salzinger @ Dimensions Variable

Two great and distinct artists come together for an exciting installation that promises to “explore the overlaps between space, place, and artifact.” Grodin is a Bologna-born artist who now lives and works in Miami Beach, drawing, sculpting, and doing collage. Salzinger is a photographer with a surreal eye who chairs the art department at Palm Beach State College. Somehow, this unexpected pairing makes total sense. Not to be missed.

Salzinger's Vipera
Salzinger’s Vipera

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Top Ten Miami Arts Events in January

By | December 31st, 2010 | 4 Comments
Nick Cave Sound Suit

Nick Cave's breathtaking "Soundsuits" are on display at the Norton Museum of Art until January 9.

1. Good & Plenty @ ArtCenter/South Florida (ends January 2)

A concise exhibition featuring resident ArtCenter artists from the last 26 years, Good & Plenty is a mixed bag with some great pieces, including Gavin Perry’s delightful epoxy-covered hanging area rug. The exhibition closes tomorrow, so try to catch it before it’s too late!

2. Second Saturday Art Walk @ Wynwood and Design District (January 8, 7-11 p.m.)

Still riding a post-Basel high, Miami’s art galleries should have some exciting shows this month (fingers crossed). With art lovers and scenesters alike out in full force, the streets and galleries should be packed. (Check out our previous Art Walk coverage and our Top 5 list for the January 2011 Art Walk.)

3. FotoKonbit Panel Discussion @ MOCA (January 8, 2 p.m.)

In conjunction with Bruce Weber’s woefully overshadowed photography exhibition Haiti/Little Haiti, this panel discussion will feature Haitian activist Jan Mapou and photographer Maggie Steber sharing their insight into Miami’s large and still-marginalized Haitian community.

4. Nick Cave: Meet Me at the Center of the Earth @ Norton Museum of Art (ends January 9)

If you live in Broward or (worse) Miami-Dade County, you may be reluctant to make the trek up North. But trust me: Meet Me at the Center of the Earth is worth the gas money. Cave’s sound suits and assemblage works are nothing short of breathtaking. And while you’re there, make sure to check out STARE, a fantastic photography exhibition including works by Walker Evans, Diane Airbus, and others.

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